Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To Market, To Market, To Buy a Fat Pig; Part Two

After the market in Bogvan Voda, I have decided that every other market I have ever seen--except the Tibetan market at Namche Bazaar--is just tourist sham. Sometimes very nice, and interesting stuff, but not the "real" thing. Here, there are no stores, no Walmarts, nothing. Most everyone is relatively self-sufficient with their gardens and animals and crafts, and the market--we assume this is a monthly market--is where such commerce as there is takes place. Needless to say, we were the only outsiders there, but no one seemed to notice us, really. In high season, it is a relatively heavily-touristed place. But not now. We haven't seen any other campers since entering Romania.

The guidebooks we are using make much of the authenticity of all this, the Marmures the last bastion of traditional peasant ways of life in Europe. Some aspects of it are enchanting--the neighborliness and community of the people, sitting out on the benches in front of their houses, visiting, in the evenings. On the other hand, I'd gladly trade seeing all this in museum dioramas or "living" museum acts for improvement in these peoples' standards of living: indoor plumbing and safe water supplies, decent roads and conveyances, maybe even cars and trucks and farm machinery, wider availability of goods, decent health and dental care; even television.
Produce department


Fat pigs; probably their last meal together....

Used clothing

Locally-made furniture

Non-handmade shoes

Would you like some rebar to go with those new shoes?


Bacon and cheese

Everything, cradle to grave...

Local statue of Bogvan Voda, conqueror of old

And Bogvan Voda's stave church

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